With September here and Fall’s arrival just days away, the upland bird hunting season is officially upon us. Here are a few tips to get you ready for your days spent in the field.
The first tip to prepare for bird hunting is honing your shooting skills. If the dogs do their job, it is up to us to close the deal. There is nothing more frustrating than having the dogs work hard and find the birds in this big wild country, and you being in position with the perfect scenario…then missing the birds.
The Double Barrel 5-stand shooting facility can get your reaction times and muscle memory back in gear, while presenting real life partridge and grouse shots. Simple things, like how you step into the shot and raise the gun, can make a huge difference in the field. One or two practice sessions focused bird hunting can make the difference between cheering after the flush or other words coming out with frustration.
Another tip is watching the dogs. This may sound a bit obvious, but what I mean is, you need to watch the dogs eyes. They can tell you almost exactly the location of the birds. When the dogs are on point there is a lot to keep track of, but by simply watching the dogs eyes, you will have a good idea of where the birds will flush from to give you an advantage.
Having the right gear is also very important when it comes to enjoying a day in the field. A comfortable and durable pair of boots can make a huge difference in the rough country where our birds are found. The weather here in Utah can change in minutes, so a light rain shell can mean the difference in cutting a trip short and finding birds and having a fun day. I also like a good pair of gloves..especially for grouse hunting. There are so many obstacles in grouse hunting — downed trees, overhanging brush, and prickly rose brush. Gloves allow you to navigate this terrain and keep your hands in good shape for shooting.
The last tip is “marking birds.” This term means watching birds after the flush and keeping track of exactly where they land. This is very important especially when hunting partridge. Chukar and Huns can fly a long distance, but marking them and having a physical landmark can aid in the chase and reduce the walking needed to relocate them. Many times (Huns especially) won’t hold on the first point, but will on the second or third, so marking birds is crucial for success.
As always, the Victory Ranch Outfitters team is here to answer any of your questions, and we look forward to a fun and successful bird hunting season with you. Contact Member Services to schedule a session at the Double Barrel or arrange a bird hunting outing.